The Rest of the Gospel: Our Idols...externals, counterfeiting Life!

To end our first week of our summer book club, I'd like to share some shocking thoughts on how easily good things become the externals where we live our lives.  We think that in them we find LIFE...when in reality, they really produce death (separation/loss)! A few years back, I heard a sermon by Rob Turner at Apex Community Church.  It was entitled Idolatry: What is it?  I'm not sure who Rob was quoting, but here are some of his points.

There are four foundational idols/functional idol structures:

  1. COMFORT = values privacy, lack of stress, freedom from obligation The price is reduced productivity. The greatest nightmare is stress, demands. Others feel hurt because when comfort is our idol, it comes across that we don't care. The major problem emotion is boredom.
  2. APPROVAL = values affirmation, love, relationships The price is less independence because of needing to get significance from other human beings. The greatest nightmare is rejection, so there's a tendency to avoid conflict. Others feel smothered because the microscope is always on them. The major problem emotion is fear.
  3. CONTROL = values self-discipline, certainty, standards The price is loneliness and isolation. The greatest nightmare is uncertainty. Others feel condemned because there's a tendency to push people to accept our standards. The major problem emotion is worry.
  4. POWER = values success, winning, influence The price is burdened responsibility. The greatest nightmare is humiliation and failure. Others feel used, because they feel they exist to achieve our agenda. The problem emotion is anger.

Making something good, ultimate is an idol.  Tim Keller

The human heart is a factory of idols.  John Calvin


Father, I bow at Your Throne Alone.  I  yield myself afresh to your exalted Son to live His holy resurrection life through me, as me...all for your glory and honor.  Amen.


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The Rest of the Gospel: The Line (ch 2)

Chapter 2  The Line Key verse: So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2Corinthians 4:18

Key Question: Who am I in Christ?

Read the second chapter.  Then answer the following questions:

1.  How would you describe the eternal realm?  the temporal realm?

2.  Where do you live most?  Do you struggle with living in the temporal realm?  How?

3.  Why is it important for us to understand each of these realms? See the three reasons p30-31.

4.  How am I related to God as a believer?  See bottom of p33-34.  Hallelujah!


Study Guide by Dan Stone and David Gregory:


1. What is your understanding of Dan’s illustration of The Line?

2. What are the major characteristics of “above the line”? Of “below the line?”

3. In what ways is God primarily “above the line?”

4. What is already true about you in the eternal realm?

5. What are the three main reasons it is important for us to understand the two realms (p. 30-31)? How in these three ways it is important for you personally?

6. In what ways is your life primarily being lived “below the line?” Give at least three examples of ways you see your focus below the line.

7. What is the process God uses to get us to move from below the line to above the line in a given area in our lives? How can you cooperate with Him in that process in the areas you mentioned in question 6?

8. In this chapter Dan mentions many things that are true of us above the line already. Which one was most important to you as you read? Why?


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